Is Art Therapy the Answer for Dementia?
Alzheimer’s Centers and other caregiving facilities are looking towards art programs as a new treatment for their patients. They have found that although short term memory may still decline, the long term memories can easily be retrieved with music and storytelling exercises. At NewBridge on the Charles in Dedham, Massachusetts, caregivers have found that singing along to old tunes trigger memories for many of the seniors. Medication is not always effective, but creative arts experiences keep the patients active and relaxed. John Zeisel, president and cofounder of Hearthstone Alzheimer Care, hopes these programs will help improve lifestyles of people suffering from dementia. “Instead of just warehousing dementia patients until more effective medications are discovered our present challenge is to provide people with a life worth living while they’re alive.”